Archives For Faith

The Beard & The Bible Bookstore

andyallen —  February 28, 2011 — 2 Comments

[1 of 4] I wrote a few posts several years ago before I started my blog…remember MySpace?  There are a few I felt were worth bringing over to the blog, so here you go.

[Originally posted January 27, 2008]
For 11 years I have been picking up my mail from Jim at Chico Christian Center/A & C Postal Center.  This little family owned and operated business deals in bibles, books, Christian music and trinkets, Western Union and mailing services. It’s been convenient to have our mail delivered here so that when we’re on the road, someone is always there to collect our mail and receive shipments.  When we’re home, we usually stop by to collect mail and packages on most business days.

Today, I went to Jim’s memorial celebration.  I’ve cried a lot today, and I remembered that I’m not very good at funerals.  I didn’t really know Jim all that well.  We shared, mostly, just the quick, casual, hello or some small talk as I waited to sign for a FedEx or UPS delivery.  But over the course of time, I saw things, I recognized things, I came to respect this quiet, thoughtful, kind man…and I grew used to him being there.  I realized this week that there aren’t many people (besides my wife and kids) that I see most every day.  I imagine that this must have been what it was like for people in Norman Rockwell paintings, their relationships with the uniformed Milk Man, or the Mail Man.  I assume that in those ‘simpler times’, those ‘seemingly perfect times’, that people always waved to each other, smiled, and appreciated one another more than I probably do with the people coming in and out of my life.

Jim’s trademark was this amazingly large, mostly gray, beard.  His was the kind of beard that had taken determined work to create.  I figure he didn’t just grow this thing, he had cultivated it for many years.  My kids always seemed to be tentative with him at first, mostly because I think they were waiting for The Beard to do something, because it appeared to have a great deal of personality.  But Jim was a very paced guy with kind eyes, who spoke softly and with a hint of knowing in his tone.  He always did his best to remember my kids’ names, and would give them preference over me, making them feel important and noticed.  I loved this.  I think shockwaves went through our small community a couple years back when Jim shaved The Beard.  Probably something you would have overheard being discussed at coffee shops or even in a City Council meeting.  As hesitant as my kids had been when The Beard was around, they were even more unnerved by it’s absence.  It took several months before we began to see Jim as himself again, instead of the guy without The Beard.

Continue Reading…

I just commented on a post from @POTSC about Ted Haggard starting a new church. Check it: http://ow.ly/1TNhG

I read through something the other day that has gone and got itself stuck in my head.  The essence of what I read was this: when you have absolute certainty, you don’t need faith because you have knowledge.  Faith is only necessary when the outcome is in question…when doubt is present.  Doubt seems to be an essential element of faith and the two kind of work hand-in-hand.

I am just kind of chewing on this right now.  It seems like through my Christian life I’ve been taught that we need to have every answer to every question and can’t ever NOT know the answer.   As I mature and live I’m learning that God is mysterious and we CAN’T know everything about Him or even pretend to understand most things about who He is.   I think it’s powerful to be honest enough to say “I don’t know.”   There’s an appealing authenticity in saying “I don’t know” and maybe even “I’m not sure I believe,” or “I’m not sure why I believe that.”

Clarity is still outside of my complete grasp on this issue, but I’m really enjoying the process of thinking it through.

Your Thoughts???

Chapters Video

Andy Allen —  April 18, 2010 — Leave a comment

This weekend we said our goodbye’s at Living Streams church.  I wanted to put something together that really shared my heart as I leave my position there.  We showed a video I shot this week with the help of Lanny Ward (thanks Lanny!)  Click the image to the right to link to the video on YouTube.

Yeah, I know it’s mostly the text from my last blog, but Pam and I really felt that did a good job of sharing where we’re at.  The video allowed me to put some feeling behind the words and show some fun pics of our family.  I also wanted to post a link here for anyone that wanted to check it out.

Thank you to everyone who has said you’re praying for us.  We appreciate you all so much and are really excited about the story God is busy writing in our lives.

Andy

Chapters

Andy Allen —  April 9, 2010 — 3 Comments

“What makes the better story?  Do that!”

This little quote/motto has kind of become a life precept for me and a silly way that I get my kids and friends to do stupid things.  When faced with even the most mundane situation, I’ll jokingly ask the question while basically implying that we should choose the unconventional and crazy in place of predictable and expected.  You never call your friends to say “Dude, I just made a very rational decision.”  Nope.  You always call your friends and say “You’ll never believe what I just did?” and then hopefully laugh together as you tell some ridiculous story.

Then there are the other times.  The choices we get to make (and some that get made for us) that have huge implications and massive impact in your life.  The part of our story where one chapter ends….the page gets turned….there’s a big bold number at the top of the next page….and the new chapter begins.  Many times this is when faith gets written into our story.

This week marks one chapter closing and another beginning for me and my family.  This was my last week as the Worship Director for Living Streams Church.  Easter was the last weekend that I would serve in that role and now we are looking to God for the “what’s next?”  After many months of dialoging, evaluating, praying and wrestling to discover where the journey is leading, it’s clear to us and the church leadership that now is the time for a shift.  Changes like this are always tough because of friendships and relationships.  Changes like this can also be beautiful because God’s plan for us opens up and we get to chase after His calling on our lives.

We have no doubt that God brought us to Phoenix to serve at Living Streams Church for a very specific purpose and season.  We love the people and staff at this church.  We are so grateful for the life-long friendships we have established here, we are better people because of it.  We also believe God has something exciting and new for us and for this church as we transition forward.

So now, the “what’s next?”  I get to ask my question….what makes the better story? We’re gonna do that!

We’re going to make sure our story is one of faith.  We’re going to watch and listen as God opens and closes doors in front of us.  We’re excited and scared…full of anticipation and wrestling with self-doubts…believing truth and questioning the status quo…and somehow in all of it, we’re uncomfortably comfortable waiting.  We get to teach our kids to trust in God and His plan for our lives as we engage on this adventure together.  We get to live the story of God right now.

Bring It On!